BiPolar, CMOS, BiCMOS
Analog circuits are those used to process real-world analog signals. Analog circuits are divided into two broad categories: SLICs and ASSPs. SLICs (Standard Linear Integrated Circuits) are standard analog components used in multiple applications, and include amplifiers, interface circuits, voltage regulators, data converters, and comparators. ASSPs (Application Specific Standard Products) are more targeted analog devices, and are divided by application, specifically: automotive, consumer, computer, telecom, and industrial end uses. ASSP's are often mixed signal devices that integrate both analog and digital circuitry onto a single die and may utilize more-up-to-date complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) manufacturing processes compared with SLIC's which tend to utilize trailing edge manufacturing processes. In general, ASSP's will not be used outside of the end application for which they were designed.
Analog devices provide interface between the electronic and real world. These include light, sound, temperature, speed, flow, humidity, position, and pressure. The most advanced digital technologies require analog circuitry to serve as a bridge between real world signals and the digital world of 1's and 0's.
Amplifiers -- These devices increase, or amplify, the magnitude of an electrical signal. In many systems, an amplifier is often utilized early in the signal processing chain to boost relatively weak signals that have just been collected from a sensor type device.
Voltage Regulators -- In many electronic systems, a power supply converts an AC (alternating current) power source to a DC (direct current) voltage, which is used to power various IC components within a system.
Data Converters -- Data Converters convert signals between analog and digital. An A/D (analog to digital) converter converts an analog signal into digital, while a D/A (digital to analog) converter converts a signal from digital to analog.
Interface -- Interface IC's are typically used to transfer digital signals between electronic systems. Ironically, when digital signals are transmitted over a data line, an analog signal is used for the transmission. Typical interface protocols include RS-233, RS-485, and RS-422.
Consumer -- Consumer analog circuits are application-specific analog circuits designed primarily for use in consumer equipment - primarily audio and video electronics. Other applications include home appliances, personal electronic devices, still cameras, TV's, VCR/camcorders, and games. Analog IC's for radio (IF, RF Phase-Lock Loop), audio op amps, and noise reduction circuits are part of the consumer analog segment.
Computer -- Application-specific analog IC's for rotating computer magnetic, optical, or tape mass storage media such as hard-disk drives, tape, and laser disks (CD-ROM)
Telecom -- Includes analog or analog-intensive IC's for voice or data communication applications that use voice-band media. Examples include SLIC's CODECs (less than 16 bits), telecom filters, and fax and modem IC's.
Automotive -- Application-specific analog circuits designed for automotive applications including engine and power train controls, entertainment circuits (i.e. radio), safety (i.e. air bags, antilock brakes), active suspension, etc.
Other -- Includes all other IC's not previously described. Examples include non-telecom filters, transistor/diode arrays, analog arrays, display drivers, high-resolution CODECs, cellular base stations, DVD players and recorder, digital cameras and camcorders.
Power MOSFET's, IGBT, BJT
The term "discrete" refers to a packaged semiconductor device having a single device, an electrical, functional component such as a diode, transistor, or thyristor. These devices, with the integrated circuits (IC's), must be combined with other components to provide basic electrical function such as amplification, switching, or latching. Discrete devices represent the mature component group of the semiconductor industry before the evolution of the digital IC.
The discrete segment is divided into three broad categories: Discrete components, Optoelectronic Devices, and Sensors.
Discretes are semiconductor devices consisting of a single transistor in a package. They are used on the electrical board as the key enabling devices, and are generally application agnostic, selling into every type of electrical device on the market. There are several major categories of discrete devices, including:
Diodes -- Devices that act as a one way valve. Key types include small signal diodes, zener diodes, transient protection, and RF/microwave diodes.
Small Signal and Switching Transistors -- Transistors with power dissipation of less than 1W.
Power Transistors -- Transistors with power dissipation of more than 1W. Key types include RF and microwave power transistors, bipolar general purpose transistors, and insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT's) and modules.
Rectifiers (power diodes) -- Devices used to convert AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current) current. These devices are classified by the amount of current supported.
Thyristors -- Devices that can turn on when activated by a gate signal.
Other Discretes -- These include varactor tuning diodes, selenium recitifiers, and other polycrystalline devices. More than 75% of all discretes are diodes and small signal transistors.
Optoelectronics are semiconductor devices designed to produce and receive light waves. This includes displays, lamps, couplers, and other opto-sensing and emitting semiconductor devices (it includes liquid crystal devices and diplays, incandescent lamps and displays, and other non-semiconductor optoelectronic components. The most well-known type of optoelectronic device is the LED (light emitting diode), a diode that emits light when charged and is usually in a small "bulb" and used for readouts.
Sensors are discrete semiconductor devices whose electrical properties can be translated into measurement of temperature, pressure, displacement, velocity, acceleration, stress, strain, or any other physical, chemical or biological property. These sensors are discrete semiconductor devices that translate real world input into electrical signals. They include: accelerate & yaw, magnetic field sensors, pressure sensors, and temperature sensors.